Screening Services

Dorset Breast Screening Unit

The Dorset Breast Screening Unit (DBSU) is run by Poole Hospital, and is responsible for providing a high quality mammographic service for the women of Dorset.

It is responsible for screening approximately 96,000 women in the county as part of the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme.

Some ladies may be screened in the static unit at Poole Hospital but a large part of the screening work is done on mobile units which travel to different sites throughout the county, to enable ladies to be screened near to where they live.

The unit is staffed by a team of dedicated professionals, including radiologists (doctors who specialise in radiological procedures and film reading), radiographers, breast clinicians, breast care nurses, assistants and office personnel. Mobile units are staffed by members of the radiographic team in rotation.

When the time comes for you to be called for screening, you will receive a specific appointment telling you when and where to attend.

Symptomatic mammography is performed in the Ladybird Breast Unit by the same radiographic team. The Ladybird Unit is sited above the Breast Screening Unit.

Cervical Cancer Screening

Screening is the process of identifying individuals who appear healthy but may be at increased risk of a disease or condition.

The process is not perfect and in every screen there are a number of false positives and false negatives.

NHS cervical screening programme is available to women aged 25 to 64 in England.

All eligible women who are registered with a GP automatically receive an invitation by mail.

Women aged 25 to 49 receive invitations every 3 years. Women aged 50 to 64 receive invitations every 5 years.

NHS Choices provides information for the public on the cervical screening programme.

Bowel cancer screening programme

Research suggests that over 90 per cent of bowel cancer patients will survive for more than five years if they are diagnosed at the earliest stage (Cancer Research UK).

Bowel cancer screening aims to detect bowel cancer at early stages, ideally before people are experiencing symptoms, and when treatment is more likely to be effective.

The screening centre for the Dorset bowel cancer screening programme is based at Poole Hospital, with satellite screening sites at The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

The programme invites all GP-registered men and women aged between 60-74 to take part in the programme every two years. Those over age 75 and over can request a screening kit, if they wish to take part, by calling 0800 707 60 60.

To find out more visit the NHS cancer screening website at or call 0800 707 60 60.

Test kits

Men and women eligable for screening will automatically receive an invitation letter, faecal occult blood (FOB) test kit and an information leaflet explaining the programme. When you return the test (by post), it will be processed and result sent back to you within two weeks.

For more information on how to use the kit visit